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Guide to Formentera. What to do and see in Formentera - Balearic islands, Spain

Formentera is a one-hour boat trip away from Ibiza. It is a very peaceful, quiet island covering an area of 85 kms2. It is completely flat apart from the raised part in the West of the island known as the Sa Mola. Parts of the coastline are still natural including some of its beaches. The only industry that exists on the island is salt mining.



Formentera has a population of approximately 5,300 and is divided into 5 areas: Sant Francesc Xavier, Sant Ferrán de Ses Roques, El Pilar de la Mola, Sa Savina and Es Pujols. There area also two smaller, nearby islands: Espalmador and Espardell

The capital is Sant Francesc. The most important port is Sa Savina, 3 kms from the capital. Although it is possible to hire cars on the islands, visitors are asked to use bicycles to visit the island in an attempt to keep pollution to a minimum.

It has a warm mediterranean climate and its own ecosystem. The island has lots of vegetation, including many pine forests, flowers and fauna. Something which stands out is how its inhabitants have incorporated nature into their way of living, converting rocks or trees into monuments or decorative features.

Like the other Balearic islands, Formentera has two official languages -Catalan and Spanish.

History of Formentera

The island has been inhabited for 4000 years. Over its history it has been occupied by the Greeks (8 B.C.), theCartagens, the Romans (2 B.C.)the Vandals, the Bizantines, the Godos, the Normans and the Moors who helped Formenteradevelop the island's agriculture and irrigation.

In 1235 it was conquered by the Christians and placed under the control of Jaime I, king of Aragon. Throughout its history Formentera been a gateway for pirates due to its strategic location.

Sant Francesc Xavier, capital of Formentera: All official buildings and central services can be found here. What is curious about this small capital is that it is surrounded by the sea on one side and and two large lakes on the other: Es Estany des Peix and Es Estany Pudent, something which makes it quite spectacular.

Places to visit in the capital:

  • The fortified church: built in 1729., located in the 'plaza principal' (the princial square).

  • The Ethnological Museum: (opening hours Monday to Saturday 10.00 to 14.00) C/ Jaime I. You can see objects such as antique household utensils, wine presses, tools, musical instruments...and more.

Hotels in Formentera:

  • Club Hotel Riu La Mola (****): situated on the beach front in Copinar en la Mola.
  • Insotel Club Formentera Playa (****): situated on the beach front - Playa Migjorn.

Sa Volta (**): situated in Es Pujols. (c/ Miramar, 94, Tel: 971 32 81 25) a modest, but good hotel situated on the beach front in a touristic location - the rooms have balconies overlooking the sea.

Restaurants in Formentera:

  • Es Mirador In Es Caló Port
  • Sa Palmera Next to Es Pujols beach (tel: 971 32 83 56) a typical seafool restaurant. The rice with seafood is excellent.
  • El Molí Descarregador: Speciality - lobster stew.

Places to visit on the island:

Cap de Barbaria: 7 kms from Sant Francesc, it has a tower and lighthouse built in the 18th century.

Es Far de Sa Mola: This lighthouse is located on the highest point of the island.

Ca Na Costa: A stone circle thought to be a megalithic tomb - 1800 to 1600 B.C. Near to the capital, Sant Francesc and the only one to be discoverd on the Balearic Islands.

El Campamento de Can Blai: Remains of a Roman settlement in Sa Caló.

Beaches : Mitgjorn (in the south), Tramontana (in the east), Cala Saona (in the west). Sa Roqueta, Es Arenals; Illetes, Llevant, Es Pujols, Es Caló, Cala d'en Baster (in the north).

Pas d'Es Trocadors: A thin strip of land between Illetas and Llevant beaches opposite s'Espalmador island.

Isla de S'Espalmador:This tiny island has some marvellous beaches, a lighthouse and fresh water springs.

Ses Salinas Natural Park

Sistema Dunar de MigjornFormentera

Arts and Crafts

In Formentera you can find jewellery, accessories, ceramics, artwork, clothes and much more. You can buy modern designs as well as more typical, handmade products from the island. In la Mola market you can get woollen handmade jerseys typical to Formentera and other art and craftwork.


Like the other Balearic islands fish and seafood dominate the island's gastronomy. You can also get excellent grilled meat and stews which include chopped almonds something typical to Catalan cuisine see 'Picada de Almendras', Formentera cheese is also very good and is typically eaten with bread and grapes. ; A type of flan, made from eggs and soft cheese, is the most typical dessert. Frígola: is a sweet liquer made on the island.


Travelling to Formentera? The following links may also be useful

Guides provinces bordering with Formentera and beautiful places in Spain nearby

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